Family Therapy and Family Counselling Brisbane

Is your family struggling with a problem that is causing stress, grief, anger or conflict?

The problem could be family wide, or to do with a particular person, but where the problem impacts on the entire family.

Ahead Psychology offers family counselling by highly experienced family psychologists in Brisbane with Masters level training in family therapy.

Common reasons for seeking Family Counselling

Common reasons people seek family therapy at Ahead Psychology include:

  • Child, adolescent and adult behaviour difficulties
  • Child and adolescent mental health issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Couple relationship difficulties
  • Separation, divorce and step-family life
  • Fostering, adoption, kinship care and the needs of ‘looked after’ children
  • Illness and disability in the family
  • Domestic violence and abuse issues
  • Self-harm
  • Drug and alcohol misuse
  • The effects of trauma and major change

How Family Counselling can help

Family Counselling (also known as Family Therapy and Systemic Practice) aims to change the way family members interact, improve the functioning of the family as a unit, and improve the functioning of individuals in the family.

Family Therapy and Counselling can help with:

  • The management difficult family life transitions such as separation, divorce, and death
  • The reduction of conflict between parents and children
  • Children and adolescents with behavioral and emotional problems
  • Identifying and resolving relationship issues that may be affecting parenting and children
  • Issues that may be the result of a blended family
Senior Family Psychologists at Ahead Psychology in Brisbane, Richelle Deakin and Juliet Whitlock have Masters level training and developed professional expertise in family therapy.

If you think your family could benefit from counselling call us on (07) 3352 3577 or fill out our Request a Booking form 

Benefits of Family Therapy

Family therapy  can help family members to:

  • Express and explore difficult thoughts and emotions safely
  • Understand each other’s experiences and views
  • Develop and maintain healthy boundaries
  • Improve communication within families
  • Foster cohesion among family members
  • Promote problem solving through understanding of family patterns and dynamics
  • Build empathy and understanding
  • Appreciate each other’s needs, and build on strengths
  • Reduce family conflict
  • Make useful changes in their relationships and their lives

What sets Family Counselling apart?

Family counselling  addresses problems in the context of the family and broader social systems. This contrasts with other forms of counselling which focus on the individual.

Family therapy considers the whole family system as a functioning unit. It deals with the interactions among family members, the quality of family relationships, and various aspects of family development and functioning. As appropriate, it also considers wider community, societal and cultural factors.

The family therapy approach is based on an understanding that:

  • When one person in a family experiences difficulties, other family members are usually affected too;
  • The role of the family and the power of relationships to foster social, emotional and mental well being is vital;
  • Working with families as a whole can address the impact on each person; and
  • All family members can usually contribute to the solution


If you attend as a Private Patient you do not need a referral. Simply call (07) 3352 3577  to discuss any questions you may have and to organise a time that suits you. Alternatively, use our Request a Booking form

Generally no, Medicare rebates are only available for individuals.

A Medicare rebate for psychological services under the Better Access initiative can only be claimed where all of the following is satisfied:

  • A client has a valid and referral and, if referred by a GP, a Mental Health Care Plan
  • The client with the referral attends the session
  • The session is treating a clinically diagnosable disorder as approved by Medicare
  • The treatment being provided is an approved treatment by Medicare

Most private health insurers offer rebates on psychological services. To claim a rebate you will need to be covered by ancillary benefits insurance (extras cover). Some health funds also require a medical referral.

Rebates vary based on your level of cover. We recommend that you check with your health insurance fund first to find out if you are covered and how much your rebate will be.

No. What distinguishes family therapy from individual counselling is its perspective or framework, not how many people are present at the therapy session.

While family counselling can involve all family members attending a session together, this is not always the case.

Yes. Family therapy is for all types of families.

Families come in many different shapes and sizes – including nuclear, extended, blended, single-parent, heterosexual and same-sex couples.

Families can include non-parental caregivers such as partners, foster parents, grandparents, god-parents, adoptive parents and other family members.

Sometimes, when one person or group is keen to try family counselling others close to them may be more reluctant.

This is understandable. Going to family therapy can feel like a big step and some people are more ready to take it than others.

It may be useful to arrange an initial meeting with the Family Psychologist, to discuss the possibility of working together and give everyone a chance to air their concerns and ask questions.

A family therapy session can involve:

  • Examining your family’s ability to solve problems and express thoughts and emotions in a productive manner
  • Exploring family roles, rules and behaviour patterns to identify issues that contribute to conflict — and ways to work through them
  • Identifying your family’s strengths (such as caring for one another), and weaknesses (such as difficulty confiding in one another)

Psychologists aim not to take sides, blame, or provide simple ‘one size fits all’ answers. The aim to Family Psychologists is to engage people in sharing understandings and views with each other and exploring ways forward that work for them.

Family counselling aims to make people feel welcome, and to give everyone a chance to contribute to discussions if they wish.

Family Psychologists will adapt their ways of working according to people’s ages, needs, resources and preferences.

Standard family therapy sessions last for 50 minutes.

Our psychology practice is located in the northern Brisbane suburb of Stafford, Unit 2A, 87 Webster Road, access is via Barbarra Street.

If you think your family could benefit from family counselling, please call us on Brisbane (07) 3352 3577 or fill out our Request a Booking form